This year has turned into the most unusual year most of us have ever known. Since coming out of the national “lockdown” of March/April, not many of us have been able to resume our work or our hobbies in the same manner. For musicians this has been a terrible time, but performances are now happening and planning for 2021 is taking place. For wind players and singers the year has been particularly difficult with the worry about aerosols and droplets so I am delighted that more research is being undertaken which in turn is helping us to manage our situations.
Life without live music is not one I wish to pursue, and from time to time the whole situation has been quite depressing. I know that so many people are having similar ups and downs, and I encourage everyone to help raise the spirits of those who are having dark days. Music lifts us so much and being able to look ahead by planning a concert visit can give us hope and strength to carry us forward with positivity. This could be the perfect time to research the music and composer in advance. For a few weeks professional singing ensembles have been able to perform observing social distancing - who could forget the BBC Singers’ performance of Eric Whitacre’s Sleep in the 2020 Virtual Promenade concert? Now amateur choirs can rehearse providing that the most stringent of measures are adhered to, but we are all pleased to be able to sing together.
Teaching with visors and screens is now necessary, and it’s an improvement on remote teaching. Our “Zoom” sessions are surprisingly successful, however……the latency issues and sometimes unstable connections can be frustrating but we have accommodated these issues as we have become familiar with the set up. I plan to hold my first “face to face” lesson in a couple of weeks time, after which I hope to extend the website booking system for “face to face” teaching for those who feel comfortable to do so. This for me is an exciting step forward. The website can now store banking details, saving time when re-booking, for anyone who would like to use this facility.
We will have to live with social distancing and face coverings for quite some time yet, so let’s resolve to get creative with our music experiences, get involved and bring the music we love back to life.